REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Moment Commander 98 2020-2021
130-98-116 r=20.0m @176cm
1060 Marietta Way
Sparks, NV 89431
"When people took the first-generation Commander 98 out for testing, we heard comments like, “it’s a race-room GS ski you can ski anywhere” and “I’ve been waiting for a real frontside ski like this.”
Thinking back on that makes us laugh like Crom, laughing at your four winds from his mountain.
We pulled up on that ski in a van with no windows, threw it in the back with a hood over its head, and drove it to our secret mountain laboratory where we spent the next six months exposing it to radioactive crystals and rebuilding it from the ground up.
The result is an all-new Commander 98. It now boasts an aspen/beech core, revised sidecut and camber profiles, a new mount point, more metal, and experimental mutant genes from outer space. It’s stiffer, more stable, faster in and out of turns, and ready to rock like never before. Incredibly, it’s also more forgiving when your quads are begging you to call it quits and the tram is calling your name for one more lap. But listen: the fact that it’s not going to rip your face off doesn’t mean it’s the ski to put your kid brother on, either. It takes a pinch of dynamite to get the new Commander 98 up in the morning, and it can make most skis flinch just by looking at them. We built it to go fast, kick ass, and chew bubble gum. And it’s all out of bubble gum."
Technical Ski Data: (from Moment)
ASPEN/BEECH WOOD CORE
Full length, knot free, vertically laminated in house. Strong, damp and burly, beech provides the pinnacle of composure and calmness at the highest speeds in the most challenging conditions.
Extruded sidewalls constructed of modified Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) provide stiffness, dampening, durability. Allow for more impact resistance and easier repairs that stay put so you can bring the abuse year after year, season after season.
Modified Carbon Fiber Hybrid Composite Structure to compliment the characteristics of two sheets of Titanal metal laminates and stiffer wood cores for increased dampening and faster response.
7500 SERIES CARBON BASE
Skis are tools not treasures and that means they need to take a beating which is why use carbon infused sintered UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene). Harder, faster and with better wax absorption and retention than extruded bases this is the industry leader for performance and longevity.
2.2 EURO EDGE
There are only a handful of edge manufacturers in the world. We go straight to the source for the best of the best. We use only 2.2mm Rockwell 48 hardened steel edges. Heat treated additionally in house to ensure you get nothing but the absolute most out of your skis.
1 degree base, 1 degree side
Hotbox wax for 3 hours at 110 degrees F
Conversations with Jake at Moment revealed the Commander 98s have a full-height sidewall underfoot with the metal sheet overhanging the sidewall slightly to provide rigidity, while the metal tapers out-of-sight inside the layup as it extends fore and aft to allow torsional compliance in the tip and tail as the topsheet turns to a semi-cap construction to further provide torsional flex front and rear. It provides easy engagement and release while providing a rock-solid torsionally resilient midsection for grip and stability.
2 Year warranty against defects.
Bindings, Boots & Wax Used:
Salomon STH 16 bindings
Salomon S-Max 130 Carbon boots
Lange RX 130 boots
Green Ice Waxes
This is the third incarnation of the "Commander 98" from Moment... Unlike the previous two versions. Stiffish hand flex immediately commands respect, as does the clean fit-and-finish with a subtly cool topsheet graphic. Torsionally strong, stout rebound, but damp-feeling. It feels like a ski that wants to be driven and delivers when you commit some pressure to it. "Fearless" is a good word that comes to mind on first impression. Not for the faint-of-heart. Get your act together and get ready to ski hard or go home. No wimps need apply. Check your ego at the door and get ready to respect what a strong ski can do with the right pilot. The Commander 98 will not come unglued at any speed you're likely to achieve. That's the first impression.
Boilerplate eastern hardpack, densely blown man-made snow pack, dry natural packed powder, corduroy, boot-deep fluffy powder, refrozen, regroomed old manmade snow, soft bumps, hard bumps, low-angle and moderate-angle tree runs.
The Commander 98s are like your favorite sparring partner...always willing to go toe-to-toe with you as long and hard as you want to go and humble the smirk off your face when you think you've seen everthing they've got. Moment seems like they targeted the althletic late-teen-to-late-30s, rowdy and hard-charging western resort skier with a laser and created exactly what these skiers want: a strong, stable, rock-solid, damp, directional but slashable 98mm-waisted sled throwing down a 20-meter radius sweet spot with serious frontside GS carving chops and crud-busting confidence in a bulletproof build to last for years of abuse. Stiffly sprung, and a bit abrupt in choppy bumps (energetic and full of oomph in the rollers), but slashy and drifty if needed when run flat, the Commander 98s got a redesign from the 19-20 models and it seems Moment found the formula they wanted. Seriously durable build and really nice fit-and-finish to the components. In a world filled with soft-flexing "all mountain skis" for the minii-van soccer family mom-and-dad crowd where testers comment "...Burly or hard-charging athletic skiers may overdrive this ski.."...Moment offers a ski for the real athletic, hard-charging, burly skier types who want a confidently strong, no-speed-limit frontside ski for low-tide conditions at speed. The faster you drive the Commander 98s, the better they get. When other skis start wimpering and folding up under pressure at speed...the Commander 98s want more, and more...just to see if you've got game....and they deliver the goods as long as you have the drive to do the deed. Purebred model. Good pricing. Rock-solid build. Passionate company. Dedicated fans. Right on the money for the strong target audience who needs an all-mountain ski just under 100mm underfoot for those days when fresh snow is a distant memory.
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
While not a race-carver, the Commander 98 is totally at home etching high-pressure, high-speed arcs into hardpack all day long with total security underfoot if you keep them tuned tight. (Factory 1 degree base and 1 degree side was just fine with a mix of edgehold bite and drift-ability). Strongly confident and able to take lots of pressure and never get a hair out-of-place while doing it. You get up a bit of speed (for best results), then start a deliberate pressure into the ski (pick a place...forebody, underfoot..tail) and set your bite angle and direction of travel and commit..adding more pressure as the speed builds. The edgehold is confident, secure, remarkably quiet on hard surfaces and delivers authoritative grip...the more pressure you can deliver, the more grip you get...yet you can release it and change angles or directions or float a flat ski for drift or scrub when you need it...reattaining grip on-demand. Aptly named, the Commanders deliver authority and security on hard surfaces... more than most typical "western-oriented" ski company products can claim in their 98mm width offerings. On hard surfaces, you can feel the effects of the dual-radius sidecut allowing easy engagement, yet stable behavior as speeds rise. Building a dual-radius sidecut takes more care and effort, but done properly, allows a wider range of capabilities than single-radius designs. Vibration control on hard surfaces is excellent, with all buzz, busy-feel and disturbing or distracting frequencies nicely damped without the ski feeling like a dead or lifeless metal slab. Energy and acceleration on hardpack is impressive. If you get lazy, you can find yourself in the back seat like a race ski grasping at any possible corrective actions to get you back on top of the skis before you end up on the scrap heap. Moment gets top-scores for a somewhat conservative 20 meter sidecut and camber pattern delivering excellent hard snow control and power when needed, yet easiy engage the snow and allow scrubs and drifts without sacrificing high speed stability..
Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:
The Commander 98s command respect through cut-up and variable conditions with a moderate rocker to absorb irregularities gradually up front, then delivering a rock-solid track through the snow along the rest of the ski's body. Definitely directional personality backed-up with a confidence-inspriring suspension and drive with nearly zero deflection in a power-delivering chassis, yet able to break trajectory for a quick scrub without fighting you. The ride is stiff-ish compared to typical "all-mountain" skis, but the Commanders deliver an unwaivering platform at speed when the other "typical" all-mountain skis begin to get a bit disheveled and wimper under the strain. If you don't know what conditions you might find on the hill, the Commander 98s are the right pick when you want security and predictability with the muscle to get you through rugged irregulaties. The better shape you're in, the better the Commander's deliver what you need. Vibration damping is excellent, without the slightest hint of buzz or frequency-induced irritations / shudder on irregular hardpack or softer mixed surfaces. Lightweight or intermediate skiers might find the Commanders a bit stiff and demanding in rough conditions. Stronger and heavier skiers will find the Commanders rock-solid and reliably willing to take whatever Nature has in front of you.
We didn't get to ski the Commanders in deep powder, but we did get time in boot-deep lightweight fluff, where the skis felt totally comfortable, especially when they had a bit of speed at work. They are definitely more directional than surfy, but can be tossed sideways reliably without protest, and can drift in powder with the right angles and speed. Slower, duck-you-head-and-tuck-your-arms-in tight-tree work in boot-deep powder revealed the Commanders were a bit balky at snaking through bump troughs, but as soon as speeds could pick up a bit, they were quicker than imagined and could surf pretty well for a metal-infused charger-type frontside ski. The Commanders won't replace your more heavily rockered 110+ skis in powder, but you won't be running to the car to get a different pair when you venture off-piste and find some powder pockets ready for poaching.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
On firm surfaces, the Commander 98s like a bit of speed before they begin to engage enthusiastically, but then react with a reliable, strong, unwaivering grip when tipped up on edge and pressured. In mixed 3D snow conditions, the Commanders initiate more quickly and at a lower speed. The turn shape of the Commander 98s is more all-mountain charger-carver than race-carver, preferring a medium to large radius arc under pressure and does not dart across the hill when hooked-up like a race-oriented design. The Commanders like it when the skier uses the whole ski to engage into the turn, although you can pounce on the tails and get a good rocket-ride out of the stoutness of the construction when needed. The engagement is smooth, definitely strong and predicable, with deep pressure tolerance in buckets. The Commander 98s prefer to be driven across the slope rather than using auto-pilot pulling behavior of some race-like carving skis. The more you put into the Commanders, the more they deliver. Turn shapes are rounded and balanced without any hint of hinge-like or darty behaviors, with the sweet spot being medium-to-large radius turns. Strong skiers will get the Commanders to flex into their preferred arc depth easily. Lighter or more casual skiers will want a deliberate effort to get the same results. Ski them like an all-mountain GS ski.
Manufacturer's Mounting Position:
We skied the Commander 98s on the recommended line and felt no need to change it.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
Good old-fashioned muscle-car with modern multi-link suspension and no speed governor.
Notable Tester Comments:
This is now the third iteration of the Commander 98. The first two were quite similar and this one I actually think should be considered a different ski all together..
Little history lesson... the first two variations of the ski had a little bit more early rise and were substantial with two sheets of Titanal and some vertical sidewalls along with a semi cap construction made them extra durable. While these were excellent skis in their own right, version one and version two were more of a compromise than the latest version. I would liken them to a wide carver..... they're able to be put on edge and released rather easily from the tail. They also did quite well in traversing or playing around in the bumps. The decreased surface area made them more playful and easier to slash.
I actually have a pair of last year‘s commander 108’s in a 194 and what is very interesting is that the new 176 commander 98 is probably more stable. The changes come about due to more metal construction and a flatter tail.
These are not the SKUs of 10 years ago that were boards sort of like the Salomon Q Lab or the Rossignol Squad, but they are a modern version of the flat out baller charger. What makes these substantially more appealing and interesting is that these actually stick to the fall line and don’t really deviate from it whereas the previous two iterations wanted to finesse in and out of the fall line and could become excessively turny at times. These are practically unshakable at running down the fall line. There doesn’t need to be a lot of driver input and they are able to withstand a high degree of speed. I also noticed that the tip flapping is considerably less on this year’s version than in previous years. The running length has been substantially extended and the tail has been flattened to beef up and provide a much better exit to the turn
Interesting as well is that the first two versions were set at -8 for mounting points where as this one is being set at -10. I mounted them on the line and they feel absolutely perfect.
I would say that as this is my third pair of Commander 98s, and binding selection is very critical. When I mounted them with Tyrolia’s that were very low to the ground I didn’t feel like I had enough maneuverability or capacity to lay them over and they felt under matched. I found that the Solomon warden was acceptable but the STH was far superior. this gives you a nice degree of height and also leverage.
Where I think the ski excels is that it is a perfect quiver of two companion for the East coast gear. If you have a firm snow ski or a racer/carver, then this is the absolute bomb to throw in there as well. This one will not disappoint. It tends to have a reasonably good float and at the same time can absolutely haul ass down the fall line.
I must admit that I struggle a little bit with the adjectives on this ski as it’s almost muted in terms of its sensation, it will short swing fairly competently but prefers to be doing crud busting duty heading directly down the hill. This is not indicated since it’s not a damp or excessively stable ride... it’s just more that it permits auto pilot. It’s definitely not a lively ski.
Flex is noted to be highly rounded and even. While you can lay them over, that is not their natural habitat. Where they seem to have the most fun was shredding between the trees and the day leftover snow. They will not playing like 100 mm+ ski in the new snow, but they are respectable and make up with a shorter turning radius that is better for the East Coast.
If you’re looking for a ski that measures true to size and will not disappoint breaking through the chalky stuff for the leftovers, this is an absolute blast of a ski. It’s not a 2x4 like some of the older chargers but I do think it’s worthy of a new name... it’s a vastly different ski from prior iterations.
The only downside that I would say is that I had to wax the hell out of these to actually get them to glide. They are using a new base material this year and I found it super oily.
Strong, steadfastly reliable security. Drive 'em straight ahead.
Nothing intimidates these skis, yet they can be skied without 100% attention.
No speed limit...steady at all times.
Remarkably agile and driftable for a stiffish, cambered frontside ski.
Rock-solid grip when needed, but can scrub on demand.
Built to last.
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Offer a 168 cm version for smaller skiers.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
One of the best examples of a frontside all-mountain charger under 100mm. Can't think of another ski like it right now.
What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?
Stong, athletic skiers with go-get-it attitude are the ideal candidate for the Commander 98s. Intermediates and lighter skiers without strong skills will find the Commanders a bit stiff and burly until they up their game a bit.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
These skis feel true-to-size, even with a bit of tip rocker. Buy them accordingly. You'll want to be in good shape to get the most the Commanders have to offer.
No reviews of the 2020-2021 model were found.
Moment Commander 98 Tip Profile
Moment Commander 98 Camber Profile
Moment Commander 98 Tail Profile
Moment Commander 98
Front of binding mount area showing full-height sidewall underfoot with overhanging metal layer for rigidity and tapering core profile
Moment Commander 98
Rear binding mount area showing full-height sidewall underfoot with overhanging metal layer for rigidity and tapering core profile
Moment Commander 98
Moment Commander 98
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